the girl on the mat

the girl on the mat

I remember one particularly bad day when I worked as a financial broker. The job brought to me a feeling of sadness and disregard. And although I’d been trying to change my job situation, interviewing with other companies, nothing had come of it yet… so, I was still working at the company I called the Green Monster.

I grew a lot, but still had so far to go in the area of not allowing that job to rule my state of mind and emotions.

I won’t go into details as to why that day was so frustrating, but trust me, you would get it.

It basically came down to feeling like the company thought it could determine when I could have time off, even though I’d earned the hours. It was a continual struggle, trying to get small allotments of time off. Slave to the company, the job, the grind. And, in addition to this point of contention, the job was filled with metrics and comparisons between colleagues.

I thrive when I can be self-empowered within a role and grow at my own pace, not constantly compared to others. Not threatened by metrics. Not told that unless my numbers are precisely this or that, I’ll never get promoted. 

Combine this type of frustration from the job with the angst of not knowing what I’d be doing in the future, where I’d be living, who I’d be loving down the road, and I was ripe for becoming a true basket case. It just didn’t seem fair, I’d gone through a lot, just to be in a place of wondering if it was where I was supposed to stay for the long haul. I still loved two people, one made sense in my current life set up, the other one didn’t. But love is love. It remains, it doesn’t care about life set ups or conveniences. It cares about touch, communication and connection.

So, that night at yoga I went through the motions, and it felt good to stretch and bend. I followed the instructor’s directions, but with a head full of thick angst.

And then finally, near the end of class, it was time for Savasana, the resting pose, and I grabbed the blanket next to me and draped it over my body. I felt my back press into the mat. The blanket warmed me, my arms relaxed by my sides. 

Thankfully, within the presence of silence, I began to experience that magical grounded feeling. Peacefulness began to fill me up, calm floated into my mind, and an inner strength I wanted to hold onto embodied me. It was so empowering, to lie there with others in the quiet, on our mats, and allow the silence to fill us up with peace and inner strength.

The girl on the mat, she’s who I want to be off the mat: grounded, centered, at peace, confident. “Just keep her with you, be her,” I thought, as I heard the instructor bring the class to a close. And for the rest of that night, I did. 

At bedtime I thought about the next day. How could I wake up and reclaim the strength I was feeling that evening? How could I allow peace and self-awareness to lead me through the next day, rather than trepidation, intimidation and weariness, while working?

I knew life would continue to throw curveballs, but that inner peace— it needed to stick around. I needed to be her all the time, or at least be a little more her everyday.

But I guess that’s why we continue to go to the mat. To refuel. To not expect it to last forever. 

If I could just be the girl on the mat more often than not, how enjoyable would life be? More so than it had been, I knew that.

So, please, that day and everyday, for as long as I can, I want to remain the girl on the mat, while living my life off it.

The author writes, “Savasana, or corpse pose is a peak pose. It isn’t just filler time or time to grab a quick nap before hustling back to our busy lives. The purpose of savasana is to learn to just be, a colossal challenge. Savasana can be practiced in many ways, including focusing awareness on the breath or guided muscle relaxation. The mind has a tendency to wander or check out and go to sleep, but the practice of savasana trains our minds to observe and be aware of the stillness inherent in each and every moment. In savasana, we relax into the room, the mat, and ourselves and then try to let go of everything surrounding us. We release internal thoughts and move into a place of non-judgmental acceptance and awareness. This time of mindfulness is beneficial to every part of our being.”

I know from personal experience, savasana has done just as much, if not more, good for me than any yoga stretch or pose. There’s something to be said for lying on the mat, to just be.

This article also talks about research suggesting the practice of mindfulness transforming the brain, perhaps putting us in touch with our bodies and spirits in ways we might not imagine.

Click here to read the informative article!